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Old 04-15-2008, 09:09 AM   #1
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Fuel Crisis boat trend

With the price of fuel going up and no sign of it ever going back down, what do you think the new boat trend will be? During the late 70's early 80's we saw the CHB/Taiwan Trawler movement. Reasonable sized boats with economical power. Since then we've seen*steady movement towards larger and*faster. Witness the venerable Grand Banks twin 350 horse "so we can plane" phenomenon.

Also note the Bayliner "drag your butt in the water & make a wake" foundation movement. Will we see the return of balanced boats*and actually see planing again?

My guess is that Yanmar and the other small high speed diesel engines are going to be the Lehmans of the 70's. While they will not have the longevity of the Lehman, they will deliver the economy that the public will demand. I think after this cruising season we will start to see the change. Watch the boat shows next year and see if the smaller engines are featured instead of brute*power.

Some have postulated that a return to long narrow boats may occur for better economy. I don't think our population is going to stand for that. I think most of us want* r o o m y* interiors that the narrow boats can't deliver. Also I think most would be able to crunch the numbers and figure out that for the same interior square footage they'd have to pay for 10 more feet of dock space each month.

What say you?

Ken Buck
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Old 04-15-2008, 09:43 AM   #2
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RE: Fuel Crisis boat trend

Also note that the ONLY time Hatteras built full displacement boats was during the last fuel crunch.
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Old 04-15-2008, 11:35 AM   #3
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RE: Fuel Crisis boat trend

Sloboat, I didn't read you whole post cuz I am in a hurry. But in case you didn't know, Grand Banks has already made the switch to a true planing hull about 3 years ago. Their Aleutian series has always been a true modified V planing hull designed by Tom Fexas....who is known for his planing hull designs. ANd their Heritage series has made the switch. EastBays have always been planing.

Another thing to be considered here is the economic landscape is a little different now. The people who have money will continue to have money and fuel most likely will never be an issue to them. IOW, the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. I seem to be on the back side of that power curve. With that said, any NEW boat in the 40+ trawler class will still only be in reach of a "rich" person....naybe a household that mkaes $500k+. More on this later as I have to go.....
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Old 04-15-2008, 06:45 PM   #4
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RE: Fuel Crisis boat trend

I was out this last weekend and noticed many boats that are capable of planing at 15-20 knots moving along at displacement speeds. So you'll probably see many of the high HP boats advertising how economical they can be if they're pulled back to a reasonable speed.

True, they're not nearly as economical as they would be if they were designed to run at that speed - but the difference between 20 GPH and 5 GPH is a lot bigger than the difference between 5 GPH and 2 GPH. And they'll advertise that the speed will still be there "when you really want it."

There'll probably be more emphasis on twin-engine boats that can be satisfactorily operated as a single for slower passages. I've researched it on my boat: the 72C transmission is fine with freewheeling, the PSS shaft seal is OK since the speed is under 12 knots, and the rudders are effective enough that the boat is perfectly maneuverable on one engine. Some enterprising individual might wise to come up with an aftermarket system to allow boats that currently can't run as a single to do so. New boat manufacturers would do well to install systems that can freewheel without damage.

For those of us boating in areas with a lot of tidal currents, another enterprising individual could make a nifty software package to help with choosing routes and transit times based on currents. You could pick current position and destination, and it could tell you how long it will take on a given date based on various departure times.

Finally, FloScan and their competitors will do well - it's a lot more interesting to know how much $4/gallon diesel you're going through than it was to know how much $2/gallon diesel.
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Old 04-15-2008, 07:09 PM   #5
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RE: Fuel Crisis boat trend

It's interesting that Chris mentions FloScan. I have one on this boat, had one on my last boat and would/will put one on my next boat. The ability to instantly see what your fuel usage is has always made sense to me. With my gas boat any ignition/fouling problem was easy to see. Comparing the fuel use of each engine was instant confirmation if something was wrong with one.

Even with a single diesel it's nice to see how things are running. The difference between a cold engine and a warm one can be seen in the GPH at a given RPM. I find that a properly calibrated meter is accurate to within a gallon of fuel used. I generally fill up when I need 150 gallons or so.

The only guess is how much fuel the generator has used. Depending on how heavily it was loaded it will use more or less fuel per hour. I generally run it off one tank and the engine off the other. Eventually I'll have a pretty good average to guess from.

Many folks think the FloScans are a waste of money. I love mine.

Ken
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Old 04-15-2008, 07:18 PM   #6
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RE: Fuel Crisis boat trend

Quote:
Chris Foster wrote:Chris wrote:


"For those of us boating in areas with a lot of tidal currents, another enterprising individual could make a nifty software package to help with choosing routes and transit times based on currents. You could pick current position and destination, and it could tell you how long it will take on a given date based on various departure times."


I think that's one hell uv a good idea! Think about it....passage schedules based on predicted tide and current flow...I love it!
Walt



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Old 04-15-2008, 07:20 PM   #7
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RE: Fuel Crisis boat trend

Chris Foster, you are a true capitalist....luv ya man!!!!!

And I don't think there are many people out there that think that Floscans are a waste of money!!!!* I think they are worth their weight in gold and I wouldn't doubt it if you saw Floscan jack their prices up on their products!

-- Edited by Baker at 20:23, 2008-04-15
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Old 04-15-2008, 07:21 PM   #8
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RE: Fuel Crisis boat trend

Ditto Ken..........I love mine too!
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Old 04-15-2008, 07:45 PM   #9
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RE: Fuel Crisis boat trend

Regarding using currents to set a cruising schedule, that is fairly commonly done in this area where the tidal range of 8 to 16+ feet makes for some pretty strong currents through the islands. Most of us use published current atlases and their associated annual current tables.

However the University of Washington has created a Beta-test program that lets you see what the tides, currents, and winds are going to be on a given date (obviously the winds are based on the forecast so are not projected very far out). The website for this program is *http://bis_portal.apl.washington.edu/ *I haven't looked at it for awhile but it seems to still be in place and functioning.

One "problem" in using the currents to set a schedule in the PNW is that as you twist and turn your way through the islands you will likely encounter adverse currents as often as beneficial ones as you travel from Point A to Point B. But depending on where you are going, it is often well worth it to time your cruise to get the benefit of the strongest currents. There have been times when our boat is going its usual 8 knots through the water but is traveling as much as 12 knots over the bottom. And over-the-bottom speeds can be even higher the farther north you go. The bummer is to turn the corner and watch your 12-knot ground speed drop to 4 or 5.....

Most of the time we are interested in the current direction and strength more in how it works with or against the wind than how it affects our ground speed. A strong wind going in the same basic direction as a strong current makes for a way better ride than the same wind going against the current.

But with the fuel prices going up, we'll start paying more attention to the reduction in running time we can get by using the current whenever we can. When the current is running strong in the general direction we want to go, it can cut as much as 30 minutes off the average 3-hour run time from our marina to the island where we have property.

-- Edited by Marin at 20:46, 2008-04-15
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Old 04-15-2008, 09:39 PM   #10
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RE: Fuel Crisis boat trend

Quote:
sloboat wrote:

Cool gadgets, but what's the future for boats?
I think it is the same as it is for houses.* Kinda what I was getting at.* Even in the current credit crunch, the sale of upper end homes has increased by almost 20%....while middle income homes have dropped drastically.* The sale of 100ft boats has not suffered one bit and Gulfstream isn't having any problems selling*$40 million jets.* Those same people that can buy a*7 figure*home can buy an expensive boat and not worry about the fuel.* The people that have the money....have the money.* And they will continue to squeeze the ones that don't.* And when there are $100,000 Mastercraft ski boats, I have no friggin' clue.* I totally understand your question.* And I do think there will be some sort of boats that come out of this all and they will come from CHINA!!!!


-- Edited by Baker at 22:43, 2008-04-15
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Old 04-16-2008, 04:31 AM   #11
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RE: Fuel Crisis boat trend

"I don't think our population is going to stand for that. I think most of us want r o o m y interiors that the narrow boats can't deliver. What say you?"


The simplest way to have an efficient boat that is long and EZ to push is to simply think of a longer boat.

The boat price is mostly a weight measure so a 45 ft boat that is 16 ft wide (as a plaining Roomaran) could be replaced with a 60 ft x 12 ft beam that would run 10K on 1/3 the fuel of the 15K cottage , and efficiently run 8K on half of that!

If fuel does stay high , there will be no holding back the long skinney boats, so marinas will change a bit , and simply charge by the Square ft of boat , rather than mere LOA.

The boasts will be far better sea boats , more seakindly , more seaworthy ,far better stability and with range to actually go someplace.

Works for me.
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Old 04-16-2008, 07:03 AM   #12
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RE: Fuel Crisis boat trend

It's funny how this thread should come up now.* I spent 2 days last week at the Lido Boat Show here in SoCal, looking for anything new hitting the market... and saw zilch.* Same players, same boats, both large and small.* One thing I did notice was a rather high percentage of sportfishers on the market.* Perhaps the days are numbered for these fuel guzzlers, possibly turning in favor of slower, more fuel efficient 'fishers.

An opportunity was presented to me to work with a major Asian builder to develop their own line of semi-displacement coastal cruisers in the 60+ ft. range.* These boats will compete directly with the Aleutians, Grand Alaskans, Flemings and Marlows.* It's anticipated these boats will have a top end of around 15 kts., eschewing today's 20+ kt. semis, but will still have all the amenities of the fine vessels mentioned above at a significantly lower price tag.* I'm supposed to meet with the Asian rep next week some time, along with their west coast dealers, and I'll post more here when I learn a little more.

On a more personal note, I find myself being more and more cost conscious when running my boat.* Hell, I've always been that way.* I remember topping off fuel in Santa Cruz on our way to LA from SF, and crying over $3.15/gal diesel in Nov of '05.* But then, I view boating as having 2 costs... acquisition cost (i.e., cost of the asset), and operating costs (i.e., cost of ownership/usage).* Cost of the asset can be amoritzed over time, and though the price of the boat might be high, over time it's not that painful.

On the other hand, operating costs are something you see on a daily basis, you can't always control them, and they aren't going away.* Fuel is just a small part of this... unless, like me, you take on 800+ gallons of fuel every time you fill up

So, I monitor my FloScans religiously, trying to balance economy with the boat's seakeeping characteristics.* I find I don't take it out as much now, but that's not all cost-related.* Work keeps getting in the way.
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Old 04-16-2008, 10:43 AM   #13
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RE: Fuel Crisis boat trend

Eric,

I don't know so much if we'll be competitors.* I'm not looking to get into the boat building biz.

The builder is looking to put at least one larger boat on the west coast for show & tell purposes, and I have significant design input/influence.* The basic hull form is done on an already proven design.* The variables are layouts, power plant, etc.

At the end of the day, I get (hopefully) my last boat at a significant discount, laid out and powered the way I want it, with an agreement to let it be a show boat on the west coast for a year or two.* Rumor has it they'll even take my current boat in trade, so I don't need to go through the PITA of a sale.

It doesn't get much better than that.

Chuck
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Old 04-16-2008, 09:10 PM   #14
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RE: Fuel Crisis boat trend

Sounds like a sweet deal, KMA. I was looking at a similar situation with a boat I was considering -- and might have bought had they actually gone ahead and built it.
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Old 04-17-2008, 03:57 AM   #15
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RE: Fuel Crisis boat trend

"Weight is just as key for these coastal cruisers as l/b ratio."

Not according to any design book.

Until the DL can be down under 100 or so weight is no where as bad as FAT hulls.

IF the boat has enough engine to get on TOP of the water , light is grand.

If the water is being shoved aside , skinny is in.

Take a look a "cruising Cats" , the demand for Bloat , and the price of true light weight construction, and the tons of amenities demanded for a weekend ,result in the heavy multihulls , esp compared to the sail versions.

Most of these Cats are no great shakes at speed , but do gave 15 or 20% better fuel burn.even at their heavy loading.
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Old 04-17-2008, 04:26 AM   #16
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RE: Fuel Crisis boat trend

Or check out Dashew's new "unsailboat".
http://setsail.com/dashew/do_paradigm.html
A serious thing of beauty, inside and out. A little much for my pocketbook though...
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Old 04-17-2008, 10:56 AM   #17
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RE: Fuel Crisis boat trend

I love the look and layout of the newer power cats. The drawback to them, at least here in SoCal, is their beam, which is usually 23+ ft. You have to have an end/side tie dock, and those are really hard to come by.

I thought about contacting Dashews about their 64, but the Admiral took one look at the pics of the 83, and said no way. I sent an inquiry to Seahorse about the Diesel Duck 70, and they've not bothered to respond.

When back in Stuart for TF in January, the Admiral fell in love with the 65' Grand Alaskan (GA) flushdeck. It's layout is similar to our current boat, but they seem to have made much better use of available space. The midship ER has tons of space and headroom, without sacrificing much in the way of space in the sleeping quarters.

A new 65 GA runs about $1.8MM, nicely equipped. If I can get something similar in the $1MM-1.25MM range, and get rid of my current boat in the process, I'm all over it. Finances permitting, of course
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Old 04-18-2008, 04:15 AM   #18
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RE: Fuel Crisis boat trend

Would seem to be more honest , and just build house boats for the roomaran folks , and great traveling vessels for the folks that DO cruise.

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Old 04-18-2008, 06:10 AM   #19
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RE: Fuel Crisis boat trend

FF, am not sure what you mean by "more honest", or how it applies to this discussion. Not everybody is retired yet, and is able to cruise full time. That doesn't mean we shouldn't be permitted to have whatever kind of boat we want.

For not, it's still a free country.
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Old 04-18-2008, 08:53 AM   #20
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RE: Fuel Crisis boat trend

Indeed, there are at least three kinds of legitimate "traveling vessels" depending on one's situation. You have blue water, ocean crossing boats for those with that interest. There are coastal cruisers for those who have plenty of time to get from A to B. And then there are planing or semi-planing cruisers for those who need to get from A to B and back in a weekend or so.

Personally I thought I was in category A or B, but reality stepped in and said, "you, Sir, are in Category C!"
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